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The largest mass murderer in World History, Stalin died on this day before 57 years

The largest mass murderer in World History, Stalin died on this day before 57 years

3/5/2011 10:55:28 AM

Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili - Stalin

Country: Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR - Soviet Union).

Kill tally: Approximately 20 million, including up to 14.5 million needlessly starved to death. At least one million executed for political "offences". At least 9.5 million more deported, exiled or imprisoned in work camps, with many of the estimated five million sent to the 'Gulag Archipelago' never returning alive. Other estimates place the number of deported at 28 million, including 18 million sent to the 'Gulag'.

Background: The vast Russian Empire is thrown into turmoil in March 1917 after Tsar Nicholas II abdicates and the Imperial Government is replaced by a Provisional Government led by moderate socialist Aleksandr Fyodorovich Kerensky.

The Bolsheviks, a network of communists headed by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and inspired by the writings of Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, are opposed to the Provisional Government's plan to establish a bourgeois democracy in Russia. They seize government in a coup d'état staged on 6 November, the so-called 'Bolshevik Revolution'. (By the old Julian calendar the coup took place on 24 October and is therefore also known as the 'October Revolution'.)

Civil war follows as the anticommunist 'White Army' battles the communist 'Red Army'. The communists finally secure government in 1921. The USSR, a union of the Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian, and Transcaucasian republics, is established in December 1922. When Lenin dies in 1924, Communist Party leaders begin to jostle for the top position.

Over 46 million Europeans have died as a result of the war, including:

  • Over 26 million Soviets,
  • Over seven million Germans,
  • About 6.8 million Poles,
  • Between one million and 1.7 million Yugoslavs,
  • 985,000 Romanians,
  • 810,000 French,
  • 750,000 Hungarians,
  • 525,000 Austrians,
  • 520,000 Greeks,
  • 410,000 Italians,
  • 400,000 Czechs,
  • 388,000 British,
  • 250,000 Dutch,
  • 88,000 Belgians,
  • 84,000 Fins,
  • 22,000 Spaniards,
  • 21,000 Bulgarians,
  • 10,000 Norwegians, and
  • 4,000 Danes.

The war has also claimed over 13 million people from other lands, including:

  • About 11.3 million Chinese,
  • Almost two million Japanese,
  • 298,000 Americans,
  • 118,000 Filipinos,
  • 42,000 Canadians,
  • 36,000 Indians,
  • 29,000 Australians,
  • 12,000 New Zealanders, and
  • 9,000 South Africans.

Close to 60% of the European war dead are from the Soviet Union. Of the more than 26 million Soviets killed, nearly 18 million are civilians. About nine million servicemen and women from the Red Army have died. One of Stalin's two sons, Yakov, is among the dead.

With the pressure of the war-effort now lifted, Stalin acts to secure the gains. Soviet citizens repatriated from wartime detention in foreign prisons and work camps are deemed to be traitors and are executed or deported to Soviet prison camps. Over 1.5 million Red Army soldiers imprisoned by the Germans are sent to the Gulag or to labour camps in Siberia and the far north. Stalin even disowns his surviving son, Vasily, who had been captured by the Germans in 1941.

Civilians repatriated from Germany are kept under surveillance by the NKVD and forbidden to go within 100 km of Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev.

Freedoms granted during the war to the church and collective farmers are revoked. The Communist Party tightens its admission standards and purges many who had joined during the war.

Eastern European countries occupied by the Soviets are turned into "satellite states" governed by "puppet" communist regimes. The 'Iron Curtain' falls across Europe and a 'Cold War' develops between the USSR and the West.

..................................

On 24 March 2004, Memorial releases a list naming 1,345,796 victims of Stalin's purges, including the 44,000 sent to trial on the former dictator's personal orders.

"This list is intended to help people search for their relatives who suffered repression," says the chairman of Memorial, Arseny Roginsky. "But it is also a warning to the society and the authorities about what happens in a country where power is unchecked by the society."

Comment: The name Stalin conjures an image of 'Big Brother' - a cold, calculating yet ultimately paranoid tyrant never seen but seeing everything in an Orwellian world of terror and betrayal. A gross oversimplification, to be sure, but with its roots in the reality of the Man of Steel's shadowy life and times.

By his own admission, "rough" and uncultivated, and with a troubled personal life, Stalin set a benchmark for the ruthless pursuit of social engineering. He was the 'Engineer of Human Souls' in the bleak and callous Europe portrayed in the book of the same name by Czech writer Josef Skvorecky. Others have attempted to follow Stalin's lead - Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania; Pol Pot in Cambodia - but none have had his "success".

 

Source: www.moreorless.au.com

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